Helllloooo again after a long extended Summer break :) I've waited until both my boys got back to school/Uni before I started blogging/crafting in earnest - that's not to say I haven't been crafting over the Summer! I concentrated on two larger personal projects - my crochet quilt, which is all ready to be sewn together (that's another post I think!) and a second project which I didn't even think I'd embark on, let alone finish.
Here's a detail of the project . . . .
I wish I could have documented this project but the Summer flew by and I didn't really want to spend time on my laptop while we were all on holiday. I showed a ball of Malabrigo Sock Yarn in an earlier post which I had earmarked to make this shawl by Jenny Johnson Johnen. To be honest I really wasn't sure I'd get round to making it as I'd missed the deadline I'd intended to make it for - I had decided it would be for me! (well , why not :)).
This is a really beautiful pattern which I thought would be beyond my capabilities but I think it's very well written and having made two shawls earlier in the year, I had a bit of background knowledge.
After a few false starts I finally got underway - it didn't take long before I realised that 'lifelines' were going to be a very good idea! This is the practice of inserting a length of yarn/thread after completing a correct pattern sequence and if you've ever tried knitting lace you'll know that unravelling work is a nightmare! Trying to pick up stitches where there are yarn overs (which create the holes in your lace) is to my mind almost impossible. I used a darning needle and some white sock yarn for my lifeline after each correct pattern repeat - you know then that you can unravel the work to the point your pattern was correct - pheeeeew! It's worth the bother believe me :)
Anyhoo, enough technicalities - here's the finished shawl before blocking it - looks a little bit rubbish doesn't it??
The lacework tends to scrunch up as you are using larger knitting needles with fine yarn. Believe me I was delighted to have reached this point though - I think it took about 3 weeks to complete, but a wonderful learning process. The pattern has Estonian Lace elements, using 'nupps' - sort of bobbles which add texture to the open lace. Anyway once finished I couldn't wait to block it - this opens up the lace magically! I simply immersed the finished shawl in lukewram water for 20-30 minutes and gently squeezed the excess water by placing it on a large towel, rolling it up and stepping on it (barefoot!). It was then ready to pin out - stretching the scallops out and pinning a straight edge - voila! After leaving overnight . . . .
Sorry not very good pics!! Here's more detail of the lace itself though . . .
I am really happy with this shawl - it was a great learning experience and weirdly turned out exactly as I wanted it to! Size, colour, everything!
I did intend to get someone to take a photo but ended up taking it myself - never mind! My shawl and I are very happy, hehe!
And all from one ball of sock yarn - I call that magic!
I think I will definitely making more lace shawls - Yay!
Here's the Malabrigo Sock Yarn (Ochre) before I wound it u p into a ball - I wrapped it round the back of two chairs in my kitchen to wind it up.
The shade was Ochre - it looks mustardy in some pics but is really a lovely old yellowy gold colour - just gorgeous! I used a 5 mm needle and it created a nice open lace texture for the final piece.
The moral of the story is - don't be frightened of knitting lace! It's magic :)
I'll be back with some tweedie makes for my shop later in the week - it wasn't ALL fun and games over the summer, well actually tweedie work IS fun and games too!
Cheerio an Drasda :)